In keeping with the brand’s role as a technology flagship for General Motors, the premium V12-powered Cadillac Cien concept car is a befitting icon to represent the brand’s 100th anniversary. The striking, aerodynamic Cien holistically illustrates Cadillac’s fusion of design and technology in a modern mid-engine, two-seat supercar.
The Cadillac Cien’s low, sleek appearance, inspired by the latest F-22 Stealth fighter aircraft, has produced a different look and proportion for Cadillac. It further demonstrates the reach of the brand’s identity.
Trapezoidal air inlets are milled into the front-end surface of the Cien, graphically forming Cadillac’s shield-like grille, which incorporates a centrally mounted wreath and crest insignia. These air inlets — which feed the front-mounted radiators — are flanked on either side by vertical headlamps, together creating the unmistakable `face’ of Cadillac.
In profile, Cadillac’s characteristic crisp-edged feature line runs the length of the body, suggesting tension in the surface, and also adding to the dramatic stance. Another taut line intersects the first, sweeping from the tail through the sail panel to the front of the vehicle. These main feature lines work together to give the Cien a dramatic and unique look, especially when viewed from above. The body and monocoque chassis are produced from carbon fiber composite, derived from race car technology, that is both lightweight and strong.
Electronically controlled air inlets and outlets are integrated into the Cien’s body side. These active vents open and close as required for cooling. Also, air is directed to the V12 engine via intakes beneath the two characteristic sail panels.
The Cien’s rear view embodies Cadillac’s distinctive design heritage with fin-like vertical taillights, and a wide center high mounted stop lamp (CHMSL), which spans the rear deck, along with the characteristic centerline crease. The Cien also features an active spoiler that adjusts automatically depending upon the speed of the vehicle, and a removable targa roof panel for open-air motoring.
The blue glass on the Cien was inspired by sport-performance eyewear, enhancing the vehicle’s modern, high-tech look.
Nestled between the 19-inch front and 21-inch rear wheels is a cabin featuring high-tech structural materials and Cadillac’s leading-edge technologies: Night Vision , OnStar, StabiliTrak, Ultrasonic Rear Parking Assist and Communiport - which integrates the car’s audio, computing, navigation and wireless communication through hands-free voice activation.
Night Vision uses thermal imaging to help a driver detect potentially dangerous situations well beyond the range of the vehicle’s headlamps. The image is relayed to the driver via a heads-up display projected on the windscreen.
Additionally, the interior of the Cien features a digital instrument display relaying all of the vehicle’s functions, including diagnostics and satellite navigation, to the driver. LCD screens display images from the rearview cameras. A state-of-the-art entertainment system designed to match the car’s unique acoustic characteristics is incorporated into the cockpit.
Dark anodized aluminum accents reflect the Cien’s cool, technical appearance. The interior has a strong vertical theme, revolving around the car’s center console, which houses Cien’s controls, and the modern, yet classical clock - designed by Bulgari and inspired by their Rettangolo wristwatch. The interior further complements the concept’s lightweight theme, utilizing carbon fiber and aluminum structural elements in a design that combines luxury and performance.
Cadillac Cien’s 7.5-liter, V12 powerplant, which is visible through a clear window in the decklid, is a new concept engine from GM Powertrain named the Northstar XV12. The all-aluminum, dual overhead cam (DOHC) four-valve V12 engine generates 750 horsepower and 450 lb.-ft. of torque, yet it meets the packaging requirements and fuel economy standards of a V8.
The Northstar XV12 concept engine features several technological advancements over today’s V8 engines, including: GM’s Displacement on Demand technology, which allows the engine to run seamlessly on six cylinders at times to maximize fuel savings; direct injection gasoline combustion system for increased engine power, improved fuel economy and reduced emissions; and a combined starter generator.
The Cien is fitted with a semi-automatic transmission, controlled by Formula 1-inspired column-mounted electronic paddles.